At the end of 2020, 5.6% of American adults identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer. According to these latest Gallup Poll figures, that’s up from 4.5% in 2017.
54.6% identified as bisexual, 24.5% gay male, 11.7% lesbian, 11.3% transgender and 3.3% chose another term. (Respondents were able to self-identify and choose more than one category, hence the total being slightly over 100%).
Of particular note is the response from Generation Z (18-23 year-olds) where 16% considered themselves something other than heterosexual. That is, one in every six saw themselves as travelling a different sexuality path than those of the majority of the population.
These current statistics got me thinking as to what that equates to in actual numbers. Too often we can get carried away with thinking that the whole world is seemingly as queer as we are, but what are the hard numbers?
An internet search tells me that the US has 209 million adults 18 years and over. That gives us 11.7 million American adults identifying as non-heterosexual.
Taking this figure of 5.6% adults as being queer, then let’s extrapolate the following possibilities:
- UK – (46 million adults) = 2.6 million queers
- Canada – (31 million adults) = 1.7 million queers
- Australia – (19 million adults) = 1 million queers
- Europe – (523 million adults) = 29.3 million queers
- The world (5.7 billion adults) = 319.2 million queer men and women
These results are not in the least scientific and are open to all sorts of interpretations (especially from the culturally and religious non-western countries), but as ball-park figures, they do give us a suggested scenario as to how many potential queer brothers and sisters we could have out there in the world.
Perhaps the next time we feel daunted, under-rated, lonely, or isolated, we would do well to remember that there are millions of others who can relate to our sexuality and our lifestyle. Who feel the same challenges, oppressions, elations, and pride as we do. Who instinctively know that to be different is to be celebrated. And who understand the difficulties in dealing with cultural and religious oppression yet also know the joy and happiness that sharing with a like-mind can bring. I’m happy knowing that I’m part of a very significant worldwide minority of possibly somewhere around 300 million people.
Prepare the T-shirts and raise the flag – ‘The 300 Club’ welcomes you!
Sources: NBCnews.com, Apollo Network, Google